14 July 2022

We are happy to announce that a new, important product is being created for the elderly who do not have access to cultural institutions such as museums and galleries but still want to experience them. Within the project, we want to improve the quality of life of the elderly, who live in different socio-economic and health conditions. Using digital and analogue tools, we will create multisensory and inclusive cultural experiences.

The secondary goal of the project is to establish a network of museums, that are connected or complement each other within the same themes and collections, as well as to give smaller museums, which are not in such touristic places, the opportunity to gain visibility.

In addition, we want to establish strategic partnerships with nursing institutions and homes for the elderly, which we have identified as institutions that make a significant contribution to our target group.

The project, which was launched as part of the AAL program, is entitled BeauCoup – Building Active User Experiences to Bring Culture to the People. In the project, we are cooperating with nine consortium partners from four EU countries: Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Portugal. All partners are experts in their fields, e.g. who provide innovative technological solutions to make cultural content accessible to blind, visually impaired and deaf people.

In addition to the consortium partners, European museums and elderly people in the EU also participate in the development of the product. In Slovenia, the Gorenjski Museum and nursing home Dom Danice Vogrinec participated in the workshops.

At this point, we would like to thank them again for their active, productive and extremely important cooperation. Their experience and feedback will contribute to the development of this highly anticipated product.

More about the project

In the project, we defined three service delivery models (called The Bag, The Box and The Screen), which will foster cognitive processes and socialisation with peers and intergenerational groups. The main goal of the project is to encourage research, learning and social interaction. End-users will also be involved in the project throughout the entire process.

A brief description of the products "The Bag, The Box and The Screen"

Within the project, we defined three (3) service delivery models. Each of them addresses the challenges of different circumstances in which the elderly find themselves.

The Bag

As the name suggests, it is a bag that is light enough to be carried around. Inside, the user will find various 3D models and reliefs, brochures and a tablet. The brochures will contain easy-to-understand information, printed in large-format fonts and available in different languages. The tablet will have a tactile grid installed on the screen and will, also with the help of vibrations, be able to display multisensory content. It will have a variety of content such as a guidebook, maps as well as sign language avatars. The end-users of this product are the elderly who explore cultural attractions. Business partners in this case are travel agencies.

The Box

It is a kind of "kiosk", which, despite its size can still be transported quite easily to another location, such as a nursing home or a day centre for the elderly. Partners offering this service could be daycare centres, homes for the elderly or cultural institutions. In such a kiosk, the user will find 3D models, tablets and brochures as described in The Bag model, a computer station with tactile reliefs, a kit with different scents and a pop-up exhibition.

The Screen

The last model that we envisioned is intended for elderly people who are immobile but would still like to experience a cultural experience, for example visiting a certain attraction remotely. The user has at his disposal a computer, tablet or smartphone with audio functions, through which he can interactively connect with the group. Streaming, for example, guided tours, is also possible. Sign language in the form of an avatar is also available. In addition, the documentation is also available in pdf format in a larger font, which can be printed. The screen also allows interactive exploration of digital 3D models, which can also be printed on a 3D printer. In this model, the partners are museums.

In June 2022, we have already held both workshops, one with the Gorenjski Museum and one with the elderly from the Dom Danica Vogrinec. Both workshops were well received, and the highly motivated attendees opened up new perspectives on how we can further develop three service delivery modules.

The goal of the workshops was to find out what kind of content the elderly would like to experience, and how it should be presented in an interesting and accessible way. Thus, each of the five experts from the Gorenjski Museum selected 5 artefacts- in advance that they thought would be interesting for our target group. They created scenarios that defined everything from how the content would be delivered to the elderly, to who would present it, what would be said about the content, which technology would be used to present it, and also which senses the user would use. The selected scenarios were then presented to the elderly. Then they gave their opinion and what we have found so far is that the elderly are curious and like to talk about things they have experienced in the past. They were very fond of reminiscing, so the objects they liked the most were the ones they already knew and which evoked emotions and memories. They like to be able to hold an object, feel it under their fingers, listen to or watch a video about it and even smell it. This is much preferable to seeing an object in a picture and reading about it. Although they have been introduced to new technologies that they were not familiar with, they are willing to accept them if they are easy to use. In the workshop with the elderly, we also discussed what «The Bag« and »The Box« should look like. We found out, that in addition to a nice look and feel, they also care about the durability of the material, usability and safe handling (ensuring proper cleaning).

We are looking forward to the coming months when we will compare experiences with partners from other countries and start creating products based on the results obtained. 

Stay tuned, we'll keep you posted!

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